Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 30, 2015

Portions of the University of Washington's Web site were hacked Thursday, replaced with a photo of a memorial to soldiers and a threat against Americans serving in Iraq, The Seattle Times reported. University officials are investigating the incident.

 

January 30, 2015

In today's Academic Minute, David Zweig, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, discusses his work on the effects of knowledge hiding. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 29, 2015

Governor Scott Walker, a Wisconsin Republican, wants faculty members at University of Wisconsin campuses to teach more. Walker spoke to reporters Wednesday, the day after formally proposing $300 million in cuts to the university system, in exchange for autonomy that university leaders won't lead to saving anywhere near large enough to make up for the cuts. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the governor told reporters Wednesday that his plan for the universities would “make them do things that they have not traditionally done.” The governor explained: “They might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class per semester.... Things like that could have a tremendous impact on making sure that we preserve an affordable education for all of our UW campuses, and at the same time we maintain a high-quality education.”

University officials questioned whether this is feasible. Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations at the UW flagship at Madison, said that survey data show most faculty members work 50 to 70 hours a week on teaching, research and other activities. He noted that the research efforts of professors "bring in millions of dollars in grant funding that is a direct boost to the Wisconsin economy."

 

 

January 29, 2015

The board of the College of DuPage on Wednesday voted for the second time in a week to approve a $763,000 severance package for President Robert Breuder, The Chicago Tribune reported. Many critics, some of whom packed the board room, said that Breuder should be dismissed, and many called on board members to quit. Trustees noted that Breuder had a valid contract that the college was buying out. The second vote came after criticism that the first one did not follow proper procedure because there was not a vote to end debate before the board took a vote on the package. While college leaders expressed doubt about the criticism, they said that they wanted to take a second vote to be sure that everything was done properly.

 

January 29, 2015

A Norfolk State University student was hospitalized Sunday after she was attacked by a Norfolk Police dog while leaving a party near campus. London Colvin, who is a junior at Norfolk State and a private in the Army Reserve, received 40 stitches after the encounter and will require plastic surgery to close a gaping gash on her leg, according to the Potomac Local. Colvin was attacked by the dog while being arrested during a large fight outside the party.

The student's cousin told the newspaper that Colvin was not involved in the fight, but that she was being loud and disorderly while walking away from the scene. "We can understand her getting arrested, because she was being disorderly, however, she didn’t have a weapon," the cousin said. "She can’t put her hands up, or remove her hands from anywhere, or do anything because she’s being restrained by two police officers. So to allow the dog [to attack] is the only thing that we have a problem with."

Daniel Hudson, a spokesman for the Norfolk police, said officers often use canine units during incidents involving large crowds and that the fight involved about 35 people. “There was an officer that was attempting to place the woman in custody for disorderly conduct," Hudson said. "When [the officer] tried to place her in custody, she became combative against the officer. Another officer attempted to restrain her, but again, there were multiple people around, so the canine officer deployed the dog to restrain the woman so nobody would get hurt."

January 29, 2015

Virgin America, not to be outdone by fellow low-cost carrier JetBlue, will offer its own educational content for travelers to consume while in flight. The airline, which is perhaps best known for a video shown to passengers before takeoff, has partnered with The Teaching Company, which produces the audio and video series known as The Great Courses. Beginning in February, passengers will have access to more than 530 courses, including such titles as "Not All Carbs Are Created Equal" and "Um, Well, Like, You Know," the company said in a press release.PS: "Making Flying Good Again" is Virgin America's motto -CS

January 29, 2015

Colleges are investigating the majority of reported cases of sexual assault and are finding less than half of accused students responsible, according to a report released Tuesday by United Educators, a risk management and insurance firm. The study examined 305 reported cases of sexual assault at 104 institutions between 2011 and 2014.

About three-quarters of those cases were investigated, according to the report, and the accused students were found responsible in 45 percent of them. One-quarter of the cases resulted in the accused students not being found responsible, and in 7 percent of the cases, the accused students withdrew before the adjudication process was complete.

Of the 23 percent of cases that were never investigated by a college or university, 20 percent of the claims involved students who were unable to identify who had assaulted them. Another 23 percent involved victims who were "uncooperative" and chose not to pursue an investigation. More than 40 percent of the cases that were investigated ended in the accused student's expulsion, the report said, and 25 percent ended in suspensions of more than a year. Disciplinary probation and training accounted for about 9 percent of the sanctions.

"The method used by the perpetrator to carry out the assault may have been a factor in an institution’s choice of sanction," the authors wrote. "More than four-fifths (82 percent) of expulsion sanctions were for perpetrators who either took advantage of a victim’s incapacitation or used physical force. Disciplinary probation and lesser sanctions were most often imposed by institutions when the sexual assault involved failed consent."

January 29, 2015

The University of Florida plans to rename its records management system to avoid a link to the terror organization that rules much of Iraq and Syria, the Associated Press reported. The system has been called the Integrated Student Information System and is known by its acronym, ISIS.

 

January 29, 2015

Northwestern University on Wednesday announced a $100 million gift from Roberta Buffett Elliott, an alumna. The gift will support a new center on global issues and scholarships for international students.

January 29, 2015

In today's Academic Minute, Kit Wesler, a professor of archaeology at Murray State University, presents an archaeological understanding of climate change. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


 

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